The commander of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stout was fired on June 2 for a “loss of confidence,” according to a Monday statement from the Navy. 

Commander Jeffrey L. Applebaugh was fired by Capt. Blair Guy, Commodore of the Norfolk-based Destroyer Squadron 28, as commander of the USS Stout for “loss of confidence in his ability to command.”

Applebaugh took command of the ship in October 2022. He has been reassigned to the staff of the commander of Naval Forces Atlantic in the interim, according to the Navy statement. 

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Naval Surface Force Atlantic spokesperson Lieutenant Commander David J. Carter would not discuss the circumstances of Applebaugh’s removal but said no further disciplinary action was anticipated.

“There are no additional ongoing investigations related to the relief,” Carter told Task & Purpose Monday. “The ship is currently in a maintenance phase in Norfolk and the relief will have no impact to the mission or schedule.”

On Saturday, the ship’s Facebook page posted what appeared to be a farewell message to Applebaugh. 

“Thank you for your dedication, your kindness, your professionalism, your compassion, your understanding, your commitment to the ship and it’s crew, and their safety and well-being, your knowledge, and your mentorship. Most of all, thank you for always putting the ship and the crew first. Good luck, and we will continue to get STOUT ready for battle,” read the post.

Applebaugh is the latest of several Navy commanders to be fired in 2023.

In May, the captain and executive officer of the USS John Finn, another Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer stationed in Japan, were both fired following a Navy investigation. 

The Navy announced the relief of two skippers on the same day in January, Cmdr. Alexa Jenkins of the USS Carney and Capt. Michael D. Nordeen of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde.

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